This paper presents a complete discussion on the behaviour of an electro-thermal actuator (ETA) which was recently used by the Authors in a newly designed experimental method for the mechanical characterization of a variety of materials from thin films to Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) and/ or Nanowires (NWs). The electro-thermal actuator (ETA) can be used to load a tensile specimen up to rupture; it consists of a number of V-shaped beams anchored at both ends. It is capable of generating tens of milli-Newton force and a few micrometer displacement depending on the beam number and beam angle. Analytical computation of the thermo-mechanical response was derived and parametric studies were done to optimize the device response. A multi-physics finite element analysis (FEA) was performed to calculate the temperature in the ETA, its maximum displacement and the force which can be transmitted to a specimen. Part of the obtained results were compared with experimental observations.
- Analytical model
- Electro-thermal-mechanical actuator
- Multi-physics finite element simulations
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering